No. 5 Emery 55, No. 4 Judge Memorial 45

In easily the most competitive game of the 3A girls state quarterfinals, No. 5 Emery took advantage of a stroke of misfortune on No. 4 Judge Memorial’s side to come away with a 55-45 upset and advance to the 3A state semifinals for the first time since 2019.

Emery trailed initially, down 11-8 in the first quarter. Judge Memorial started the game on a 7-0 run, but late in the period, the Bulldogs took a huge hit to their depth when senior forward Esther Analjok went down sustaining apparent impact to her head.

Analjok went to the locker room for the most of what was left in the first half, and Emery subsequently went on an 11-0 run to start the second quarter, taking a lead it wouldn’t give up for the rest of the game.

“It’s a big accomplishment for us ending up at the No. 5 seed and knocking off the No. 4 seed,” Emery coach Jon Fiamalo said.

“Unfortunately, they were missing their best player, but that’s basketball. You gotta continue to play, so our girls played hard. We feel fortunate to be on to the next round.”

Analjok did eventually return to the lineup late in the half, and she was back to her scoring self throughout the second half, yet her Emery counterpart down low, backup center Kenadie Maughan, outdueled her to the tune of a game-high 17 points.

Emery also got 13 points out of senior Karleigh Stilson, including two 3-pointers as the Spartans went a combined 18 of 51 from the field and had five blocks and 10 steals on defense.

“People wonder why (Maughan) doesn’t start because she’s a dominant player,” Faimalo said. “She just helps push us over the top. She’s a good player, and she’s going to be a good player.”

Analjok led Judge Memorial with 14 points, and sophomore Makena Gardner added 11 points.

The Bulldogs struggled from the free-throw line, going 4 of 15, and shot 19 of 55 from the field.

Judge won the rebounding battle by a considerable margin, 35 to 25, but the offense struggled to flow as the Bulldogs had five assists and 24 turnovers.

Emery looked to have a solid grip on the contest entering the fourth quarter up 43-34, but the Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run late in the frame to get within a possession, 49-46.

Needing just a little more, the Bulldogs just couldn’t seal it as Emery scored the final seven points of the contest.

Emery will take on No. 1 Grantsville in the semifinals on Friday.

No. 1 Grantsville 55, No. 8 Summit Academy 29

Grantsville looked like a No. 1 team in the playoffs on Thursday night as the Cowboys dispatched No. 8 Summit Academy, 55-29, to advance to the 3A semifinals yet again.

The Cowboys methodically and thoroughly outplayed the Bears throughout the contest, outscoring them in each of the first three quarters to take a 48-22 lead into the final frame.

“I think we were excited to see a new opponent,” Grantsville coach Megan Vera said. “A lot of times, we get into the tournament and have to play someone we’ve played in preseason or region. It was nice to have a fresh team to play.”

The Cowboys, who are seeking to make the state championship game for the second year in a row and redeem themselves from the upset loss in last year’s title game, relied well on playoff experience to rush past the Bears from the outset, taking a 14-8 lead in the first quarter before going on a 12-0 run in the second quarter to take control of the game essentially for good.

“Going into it, I think our girls were super-focused,” Vera said. “They’d been here before, so the experience really paid as far as mentally preparing for it.”

Senior Baylee Lowder led the Cowboys in scoring with 14 points on 6 of 13 shooting, while senior Avery Allred added another 11 points.

The Cowboys shot 20 of 46 from the field, and despite going 1 of 13 from the 3-point line, they made up for it with a distinct advantage in foul shots, going 14 of 26 from the stripe.

Sophomore Sierra Johnson led Summit Academy with nine points. The Bears kept the trend of offensive struggles going for each losing team in the quarterfinals, failing to reach 30 points as they went 12 of 42 from the field and 0 for 9 from beyond the arc, which went along with 26 turnovers to just five assists.

After trading baskets initially with the Bears in the second half, Grantsville embarked on a 10-2 run to push its lead past 20.

That run included the only 3-pointer of the entire game, sunk by the Cowboys’ Emmy Butler.

No. 2 Richfield 43, No. 7 Canyon View 22

In one of most sensational defensive performances of the playoffs, No. 2 Richfield crushed No. 7 Canyon View, 44-23.

The Falcons energetically sped out to an 11-5 lead in the first quarter of the contest, but everything from then on went the Wildcats’ way.

From the second quarter to early in the fourth, Richfield went on an unspeakable 28-0 run, holding the Falcons to just two points in the second quarter and completely scoreless in the third.

Richfield coach Marc Peterson expressed real praise for the defensive clinic, but with teams like Emery, Grantsville, and more immediately Carbon waiting in the wings, he didn’t like what he saw on the offensive end.

“I’m more concerned about our ugly offense than I was about our good defense,” Peterson said. “Defense always wins games for us. Defensively, we came out aggressive and played. Usually, our defense makes our offense go, and I though our offense kind of struggled tonight for a while.”

The greatest thing Richfield had going for it, however, was one Hallie Janes. The senior guard lit up the Falcons’ defense for seven 3-pointers and finished with 21 points to lead all scorers by a country mile.

Brielle Jolley added another 10 points for the Wildcats.

Janes is already in the UHSAA record books under the list for most made 3s in a game, but she came just a 3-pointer shy of being added again as the list cuts off at eight.

“Janes is going to have a lot of records in there, you just watch,” Peterson said. “She’s always our go-igniter when we need a spark. She gets us going. She’s a heck of a scorer. When she gets her feet, she can just shoot lights-out.”

For Canyon View, sophomore Maylee Spencer led the effort with eight points, but the net was superbly unkind to the Falcons all game long as they shot an ice-cold 10 of 46 from the field, going 1 of 12 from beyond the arc and even went just 2 of 9 from the free-throw line.

No. 3 Carbon 45, No. 6 Juab 30

Carbon came into the 3A state quarterfinals Thursday with a goal to hold region rival Juab under 10 points in each quarter, so it appeared the Dinos took it personally after the first quarter when Juab had the audacity to score 11.

The No. 3 Dinos took control of the second half, though, and turned a low-scoring game into a convincing rout, 45-30, to advance to the semifinals.

After the first quarter, the Dinos held the Wasps to just four points in the second quarter, then just seven in the third and just eight in the fourth.

“Our goal was to hold them under 10 points a quarter, and the first quarter, they got 11,” Carbon coach Cami Carlson said. “I though we made up for it in the second quarter, and after that, it was progressively better and better, and we did what we wanted to do.”

Jacie Jensen and Madi Orth teamed up to lead the Dinos in scoring with 12 points apiece, and despite going 0 for 12 from the 3-point line, they collected 14 steals and outshot Juab at the free throw line to come away with it in the end.

Juab was led by Ava Cuff with 11 points, but the Wasps shot just 10 of 44 for the game.

It started as a defensive slog on each end of the court as the two squads combined to shoot a frigid 10 of 43 from the field (2 of 18 from the arc) and 9 of 23 from the free-throw line.

Carbon took the lead into halftime with a mere 6-4 outscoring of Juab in the entire second quarter.

The low-scoring might have conjured up some bad memories of Carbon’s season-ending offensive struggles last year when trailing 40-5 in a semifinal blowout to Grantsville, but once the second half began, the Dinos went to work.

Jensen had seven points in the quarter as the Dinos outscored Juab, 18-7 and took a commanding lead.

Late in the third quarter and well into the fourth, Carbon turned control into dominance, using a long 12-0 run to get out to a 19-point lead, and Juab didn’t get the ball in the net again until just over halfway through the final period.